Growing scientific evidence and generations of traditional knowledge show that spending time in nature is good for our mind, body and soul. Contact with nature is critical for our physical, mental, social and spiritual health. It has positive effects on our ability to concentrate, learn, solve problems and be creative. It boosts our immune system and helps us relax.
Healthy nature sustains our life, livelihoods and liveability. Conserving parks for present and future generations provides inspirational and therapeutic settings that foster lifelong connections with nature and each other. Parks that are valued and maintained are also fundamental to economic growth and vibrant and healthy communities.
Healthy Parks Healthy People aims to unlock the power of nature and parks for their preventative and restorative health and wellbeing benefits, while conserving biodiversity.
Healthy Parks Healthy People encourages divergent sectors to come together to build healthier communities and tackle the issues facing our planet. The approach encourages those from the health, environment, parks, tourism, community development, education, business and other sectors to work together to provide a better outcome for all.
Studies show there is a significant relationship between people’s mental health and their local environment. Read beyondblue’s study reviewing Australian and international research – Beyond Blue to Green: The benefits of contact with nature for mental health and well-being.
Examples of Projects
Case Study: Kukundi Nature Playspace
Nature play is a term used to describe the creation of simple play opportunities in the natural environment. It is a global movement, aiming to get kids away from TVs, computers and smartphones, and back playing outside by providing unique nature play experiences for families and children.
In 2016, FNPW partnered with SC Johnson to revitalise the former Kukundi precinct into a Nature Playspace and Trail area in Lane Cove National Park, Sydney. The partnership helped to fund the creation of the Kukundi Nature Playspace and the installation of Nature Play equipment for children.
Kukundi is also home to a Bat crèche, maintained by Sydney Wildlife Service volunteers, for endangered Grey-headed Flying-foxes. The team rehabilitate and release flying-foxes back into their natural habitat.
Healthy Park, Healthy People Programs by State